There are many great things we can learn from our ancestors. As we learn about them, we also learn important lessons in our lives.
We learn from our ancestors that family matters, education is essential, and change can happen in life so we need to learn to deal with it. We also learn that people only know your story if you write it down and that our family traditions are important. We also learn from our ancestors about compassion, love, and gratitude.
Table of Contents
- We Learn From Our Ancestors That Family Is Important
- We Learn From Our Ancestors That Education Is Important
- Our Ancestors Teach Us That Change Happens, So Live With It
- People Only Know Your Story If You Write It Down
- We Discover That Family Traditions Matter
- Our Ancestors Teach Us Compassion
- We Feel Love And Gratitude For Our Ancestors
- Related Questions
One of the ways we discover more about our ancestors is when we do our genealogy and family history work. To find out more about the difference between genealogy, family history, and ancestry, you can read our blog on The Difference Between Genealogy, Family History, and Ancestry by clicking here.
We Learn From Our Ancestors That Family Is Important
My ancestors have taught me that family is important. We are all born into a family, and others get adopted into one, but no matter what your circumstance, your family does matter.
I have a great-grandfather, Lewis Bookwalter. Grandpa Lewis was a scholar, President of a College, and also a professor of ancient languages. He also loved history, so he left with a legacy of part of our family history. He wrote about our family in a paper called “History of my family on my mother’s side.”
In this paper, he spoke about some of his mother’s memories of her family. Memories that go back several generations. I learned from Great Grandfather Lewis that family does matter and that discovering family members who have gone before us is important. Sometimes that gift you can give others is to show them they are important and not forgotten.
We Learn From Our Ancestors That Education Is Important
I grew up in a home where the question was never if you were going to college, but the question was always, where will you go to college? How many degrees will you get?
My grandfather and his twin brother lost their mother and father at a young age. They went to live with an aunt, and she died when they were both 15 years old. But this did not stop them from getting a good education.
In his personal history, my grandfather speaks of how he worked his way through the University of Chicago, working long, hard hours. Both he and his brother obtained their bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and my grandfather eventually received a Ph.D.
My grandfather taught me that education was important. You are never too old or young to work to get a good education.
Our Ancestors Teach Us That Change Happens, So Live With It
I have a great-grandfather James Johnston, a Baron in Scotland in the mid-18th century. His family had money and a castle in Scotland. He was the youngest of three sons.
One day his father, uncle, and two older brothers went to a crucial meeting. On their way home from the meeting they were captured and beheaded.
My great-grandfather James Johnston had a prize put on his head and could only escape the fate of his father and brothers because he was away hunting when they met.
Here he was, a nobleman who had lost everything. His castle, land, and livelihood. But this did not stop him. He eventually married, moved to England, and took up the trade of becoming a jeweler. He became quite a successful jeweler in London.
I learned from him that change could happen, and when it does, it is good if we can go with it and learn from it that we should not allow change to paralyze or define our lives.
People Only Know Your Story If You Write It Down
Any historian or anyone interested in history will tell you that people only know your story if you take the time to write it down. History is about the stories and lives of those who have gone before us and, more importantly, those who left a record. Those ancestors we know or remember many times are those who left us a written or photographic legacy.
We learn from our ancestors that writing down our own stories does matter. And reading and understanding the stories our ancestors left is also essential.
We Discover That Family Traditions Matter
I feel blessed to have grown up in a house where traditions mattered. My mother is from Stockholm, Sweden, so our house is filled with Swedish traditions.
Each Christmas, you can find us dancing around the Christmas tree, singing all the Swedish Christmas songs. I may know the words for many of the Swedish Christmas songs better than the English ones.
We can learn from our ancestor’s traditions. And when we celebrate these traditions, not only do we honor them, but we begin to understand them and their lives.
Our Ancestors Teach Us Compassion
We can learn compassion from our ancestors. As we discover more about their lives, through doing our family history research, we may discover things that are not always pleasant or nice.
A grandmother was maybe raped, so she gave us a daughter and moved to the big city. Another relative was in trouble with the law.
As we learn the good and the bad about our family, we understand that they are human and had human flaws. As I discover the human side of my ancestors, I feel great compassion for them. I understand that, like me, they were human.
We Feel Love And Gratitude For Our Ancestors
As we learn about our ancestors’ lives, we feel love and gratitude for them. We only really love the people we get to know, and the same is true of our ancestors. To feel love for them, we need to get to know them and understand their lives.
We also only feel gratitude for people if we know what they have done for us. It is the same with our ancestors, we will only really feel gratitude if we understand the sacrifices they made for us so that our lives could be better than theirs.
I am thankful for all those who have gone before me and sacrificed so that I could have a better life and the opportunities I now have. As you learn about your ancestors, you begin to learn and understand more about the love they had for you and their gratitude for their sacrifices.
These points are not meant in any way to be conclusive. When we start the journey to discover the lives of our own ancestors will learn and discover different things. The main thing is that we work to start that journey and to get them to know our ancestors and their lives.
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Why Is Knowing Your Ancestor’s Homeland Is Important?
Research about your ancestor’s homeland is essential to any genealogical travel. It is crucial you do your research on your ancestor’s hometown before your travel to that location. If you are unsure where to look, consider getting a DNA test.
You can discover more by reading Genealogy Travel: Why Knowing Your Ancestor’s Homeland Is Important by clicking here.
How Can I Travel to Discover my Family Tree and Family Roots?
We can learn a lot about ourselves and our family roots when we travel and meet family members in faraway lands and places. We can learn from them about the lives of our ancestors before us. Knowing our family roots can give us a sense of belonging. When we get to know the stories of our ancestors, it can inspire our lives.
You can learn more by reading our blog Traveling to Discover Your Family Tree and Your Roots by clicking here.